Missouri lawmakers hold hearing on teaching about racism without testimony from Black parents, teachers or scholars

A legislative committee in Missouri on Monday held a hearing to discuss how teachers can teach K-12 students about race and racism at which no Black Missourians spoke.

The Kansas City Star reports that no Black parents, educators or scholars spoke at the invitation-only hearing about critical race theory, a hot button topic that many GOP-led governments have recently sought to outlaw or discourage.

According to the Star, the only people apart from education officials who spoke at the hearing were those who were critics of critical race theory, an area of academia that examines the role race plays in the country's laws.

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GOP state Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin, leader of the committee, said she intended to use the hearing to highlight parents who were upset about critical race theory and felt they had been ignored.

“I felt today it was important to hear from people who have tried to go through the official cycle of authority within their districts and have basically been turned away,” O’Laughlin told the committee members. She also said she had invited a teaching professor who specializes in Black history but that he declined to speak, the Star reports.

Rod Chapel, president of the Missouri NAACP, said it was “ridiculous” that a conversation on inequity had been held while “excluding the very people who are saying we’ve been treated inequitably.”

“That talks more to the kind of hearing that they wanted to have than the information that they wanted to gather,” Chapel said following the hearing. “They wanted to hear from their friends who were going to support their political talking points.”